Thursday, 20 October 2016 09:19

Qualtrics nabs Microsoft veteran as COO

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Zig Serafin, a Microsoft veteran of 17 years and former corporate vice-president, has joined Qualtrics as chief operating officer to drive its global expansion and possible IPO.

Qualtrics, is a provider of SaaS-based insight platforms for customer experience, market research, and employee insights/engagements.

It is experiencing dramatic growth and international expansion ahead of a planned IPO. In the past three years, the 14-year-old private company has opened US offices in Dallas, Seattle, and Washington DC, as well as international offices in Dublin, London, and Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Last month, Qualtrics opened a 150,000-square-foot headquarters in Provo, Utah, which Forbes dubbed "tech's boldest new headquarters".

Ryan Smith, co-founder, and chief executive of Qualtrics, said, "We are excited to bring an industry luminary of Zig's calibre on board as we continue growing aggressively. Qualtrics is scaling at an incredible rate, and there's no better person to help us add a new level of operational efficiency than Zig. He brings a wealth of experience developing products, scaling complex organisations, and building amazing teams."

Before joining Qualtrics, Serafin spent 17 years at Microsoft leading large teams and building multi-billion-dollar product lines. Most recently, Serafin was a corporate vice-president with responsibility for Office 365 Skype for Business, which is used in 1.2 billion meetings per year in more than 90 countries. He also helped spearhead the development of Microsoft's artificial intelligence platform and personal assistant, Cortana, which today services more than 130 million monthly active users.

Jared Smith, co-founder and acting chief operating officer of Qualtrics, said, “This has been a very long and selective search and Ryan, and I feel we’ve found the perfect partner in Zig. Qualtrics is passing 1200 employees, expanding product lines, and has started IPO planning. Zig is a phenomenal operator and will bring considerable experience leading cross-functional teams on a global scale. We couldn’t be happier about having him join our team.”

Serafin said, “I'm thrilled to join one of the world's most promising SaaS companies at a very exciting time. Few cloud companies make the leap to becoming a true enterprise platform, and Qualtrics has established itself as exactly that, growing at an extraordinary pace while remaining cash flow positive. I'm eager to bring my perspective and expertise to bear at Qualtrics and partner with Jared and Ryan."


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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